DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A group of Iowa Republicans is filing a petition, asking that state officials stop using public money to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest or when a fetus is physically or mentally deformed.

The Des Moines Register reports 41 House Republicans filed the petition with the Iowa Department of Human Services, which must respond by Aug. 10. It can dismiss the petition or work to change state rules. That process includes going through the Administrative Rules Review Committee, a panel of legislators from both parties.

Abortion-rights advocates say the move could jeopardize $1.8 billion in federal Medicaid allocations.

Republican Rep. Dawn Pettengill of Mount Auburn says the loss would be far less.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, there have been 22 Iowa Medicaid-paid abortions.